I had my second race of the season Mother's Day weekend. It was a small grassroots event that is in the third year and it's one I had been looking forwards too. One stage down a local's favorite trail and at 16-17mins, it's one of the longer stages of the year. Pedally, twisty, chunky, fast, loose, physical. Always a good test.
My result? 5th of 17. Not bad, but didn't feel that good either. It's still very early in the season and I'm not finding my race mentality. Gotta stay more amped up. Work in progress.
Sadly, there's no photos that I've come across from the event, which is a shame since it was the debut of our new jerseys. They've been a few months coming between finding the right fit, the design, having them made, etc...They turned out great and we're all proud to show them off.
In WIDER news, wide bars are awesome.
I rode 710mm bars last year and that was great. Never really had a problem until I used the 750mm bars than came on my Santa Cruz Bronson. Those made me nervous for a while. I was constantly afraid of clipping them on some form of difficult to move object. Once I forgot about that, I came to like them. But something wasn't feeling right. The bike still felt a little unstable or nervous and that rock-solid stability became what I missed the most about the 29er. I also decided I felt a little cramped on the bike at times and was dangerous thoughts...
With the three possible solutions being: longer stem (tried for a ride and didn't like that), new set of bars, or a new bike (a little drastic at this point, but that new Nomad...).
I ordered new bars. A fancy pair of Enve carbon DH bars at that. Then I took a hacksaw to my new, none-to-cheap carbon bars. 10mm from each side and now I've got a set of 780mm bars bolted to the bike. Two rides in and the change is huge. I love it. Bike is much more solid and I'm feeling more confident then ever. What I found really interesting is that I'm actually more comfortable in narrow areas, too. Perhaps just being more comfortable on the bike overall makes these squeezes less of a worry?
(A nice side benefit of the carbon is noticeably less feedback into the hands on rough terrain. Pretty amazing.)
In short, if you're feeling a bit odd on the bike, a bit cramped, a bit unstable, try wider bars. Or get a new bike with wider bars. That would be fun, too.
And here's a super cool video: